We continue our Celebrity series this month by looking at a musical master with a timeless style sense that is extremely personal and has gained many admirers and copycats – Pharrell Williams. As opposed to his hip hop group N.E.R.D, Pharrell Williams is clearly no nerd. He has been known to strike melodious chords, even before spreading the viral “Happy”-ness worldwide. You’ve heard his voice in popular tunes “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Frontin,” “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky”. He’s also the brain behind hits from the likes of pop figures Britney Spears, Daft Punk, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake and Gwen Stefani, either as a collaborator, writer or producer. In addition to his strong musical contributions, the pop star is carving his name as a frontrunner of style. He has such a unique style and design vision that fashion heavyweights Louis Vuitton, Uniqlo, Karmaloop and Bape have entrusted him the design reins. Williams also dabbled in art and furniture, like the sex-themed chair with human legs he worked on with Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, and a collaborative sculpture with artist Takashi Murakami. Incorporating music and his distinctive style, Williams started a multi-platform venture ‘i am OTHER’ alongside New York-based fashion labels Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Footwear, pushing Pharrell Williams’ take on pop culture into fashion several notches forward.
Pharrell Williams’ Style
It’s almost impossible to encapsulate the Pharrell Williams’ style into words, for only the master of cool knows the formula. Just like his music, he has no direct influences but professes admiration for several figures. We can perhaps say that his style is a paradox of mixed influences, with the final output equating to original. It is hip hop and not, skateboard funk and avant-garde at the same time. For example, a Vivienne Westwood hat and some sparkling sneakers blend into his garb. Definitely not the usual baggy clothes you see in typical hip hop artists. Not so bizarre for someone who unashamedly cried on Oprah’s show despite his cool image or someone sharing religious views with GQ like: “On paper I’m a Christian, but really I’m a Universalist.” Clearly, Williams weaves his very own definition of style, without sounding arrogant or imposing. Beyonce painted Pharrell in her words, “He was the person who made it cool to just be you.” He made style so effortless, like second-skin that in 2005 he was declared “Best Dressed Man in the World” by Esquire, winning against more popularly revered men of style. No doubt, Pharell has established a strong following on his style. One expects to see a lot copying his hat choices because he made it look so good and easy for street wear. That is probably enough to please the 41-year-old artist, yet encourages everyone to be true to his own self, wearing clothing that one feels are closest to his heart. In essence, just like his music, the “Happy” singer’s special style has a positive intoxicating effect that makes us clap along into making him a bonafide style icon.
The Pharrell Lookbook
Formal Red Carpet Style
Pharrell Williams wore a charcoal Lanvin tuxedo to the 84th Annual Academy Awards. We can see a contrasting black bow tie, piping and shoes, giving the classic look just the touch of the Pharrell style we are looking for. We were able to recreate this look safely within a budget of US$500. Check it out and try the look for yourself!
- United Colors of Benetton Tuxedo Jacket – US$142.91
- ASOS Slim Fit Pants in 100% Wool – US$95.27
- Nordstrom Trim Fit Twill Dress Shirt – US$42.90
- ASOS Bow Tie in Velvet – US$19.05
- Cole Haan ‘Lenox Hill’ Split Toe Derby Shoes – US$129.90
The pop star on the pages of GQ, clearly depict as a man who follows his own rules. A semi-formal look consisting of a polka-dot shirt with red tie under a sleek blazer to match his rolled up trousers. Round glasses and a pair of chucks as perfect ingredients to finish the Pharrell formula. Recreate this Look!
- ASOS Slim Fit Blazer – US$123.85
- Crimson Red Tie – US$18.00
- ASOS Skinny Fit Smart Pants in Jersey – US$47.64
- Universal Works Shirt in Polka Dot – US$121.95
- Reclaimed Vintage Round Glasses – US$19.05
- Converse All Star Lean Sneakers – US$85.74
The fashion visionary wears two of the brands he’s closely associated with, A Bathing Ape and Billionaire Boys Club. He blends a polka-dot hoodie over a monochromatic shirt paired with khaki shorts. Boots, sunnies and Pharrell’s signature hat look to conclude the master of cool casual look. Recreate this casual look within a budget of US$500.
- River Island Checked Shirt – US$32.39
- Hype Hoodie in Polka Dot – US$80.03
- Ray Ban ‘Classic Wayfarer’ Sunglasses – US$155
- ASOS Pork Pie Hat – US$38.11
- Tony Bahama ‘Key Grip’ Shorts – US$88
- Ben Sherman Desert Boots – US$104.80
Dress Like Pharrell Williams
The good news is that it’s easy to score that look of effortless cool without breaking your bank. ASOS has plenty of graphic t-shirts, camouflage and inexpensive hoodies of various playful designs to copy Pharrell’s casual look. Mix them with some basic t-shirts, relaxed jeans or shorts and your everyday Chuck Taylors plus a hat or New Era cap to render justice to the musician’s style. Most importantly, follow Pharrell’s advice to embrace your own individuality, wearing your own style free from inhibitions.